Corporate Fitness and Active Aging

Corporate Wellness: Learn what you can do to prevent heart disease

Let’s begin by asking a generalized question - How familiar are you with your heart and its functionality? February is Heart Disease Awareness month, but spreading awareness about the disease is not only limited to this specific month. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S., which is an umbrella term that includes atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, heart failure, arrhythmia, and heart valve problems. Heart disease can affect a person of any age, so learning about prevention tips and implementing them into your life can be beneficial.

Although we lack the power to change some risk factors, we can start by making small life choices like a healthy eating plan and being more physically active. The American Heart Association breaks down prevention tips by age groups.  See where you fall and what you need to being doing to help reduce your risk for heart disease.

heart_healthIn your 20’s:

  • Have regular wellness exams
  • Be physically active
  • Don’t smoke and avoid secondhand smoke

In your 30’s:

  • Make heart healthy living a family affair
  • Know your family history
  • Tame your stress

In your 40’s:

  • Watch your weight
  • Have your blood pressure checked
  • Don’t brush off snoring (sleep apnea can lead to high blood pressure, heart attack, and stroke)

In your 50’s:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke
  • Follow your treatment plan

In your 60’s and beyond:

  • Have an ankle-brachial test
  • Watch your weight
  • Learn the warning signs of a heart attack and stroke

The bottom line is to change your unhealthy behaviors - clean up your dietary patterns, get active, and don’t put off your necessary doctor appointments. The risk of heart disease increases as you age, so the earlier you are aware, the better.

The staff in your corporate fitness center would be more than happy to help you get started with an exercise routine and are available for consultations. They are there to help and guide you, as well as get you familiarized with what is offered in your fitness center. These are just the basic guidelines to a happy and healthy heart!

The first Friday in the month of February is National Wear Red Day. Help bring awareness by wearing red to show your support.

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Topics: employee health heart disease heart healthy

NIFS: How Happy is your Heart?

heart healthIt's mid-February and you started the year out strong, but have all of your resolutions already departed? Every year, the same two resolutions are shared amongst everyone – exercising and losing weight. Those who exercise regularly prior to New Year’s seem to stick with their same routine, while those who want to start to exercising come January 1st seem to have fallen off the wagon by February. February is month to be aware of your heart health, so I have provided you with some tips to help you stay on track as we enter into spring!

  1. Think: Why is your resolution not working? Do you want it bad enough? What’s your excuse? Is it a realistic resolution?
  2. Create SMART goals: Your goals should be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. By using the SMART method you can are set for success.
  3. Exercise: The American Heart Association recommends at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity at least 5 days per week or 150 minutes. Another option is 25 minutes of vigorous intensity aerobic activity 3 days per week. The first excuse is not having enough time. Have you found yourself with 10 minutes to spare in the day? Do something to get your heart rate up! That something is better than nothing and can improve your quality of life.
  4. Diet: You can start by eating and drinking the necessary calories to maintain your weight. This is based on your age and physical activity. Be sure to not consume more calories you can burn off for that day. It is beneficial to eat a variety of nutritious foods from the all of the food groups. Your body requires specific nutrients to stay healthy. Limit the foods and beverages that are high in calories and low in nutrients, while also limiting your intake of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium, and added sugars. Be aware of your portion sizes and follow the American Heart Association’s recommendations.
  5. Control Your Stress: You can start by setting goals that are attainable. You could also try to positive self-talk or turning your negative thoughts into positive thoughts. Always look at the bright side of things. Other ways to cope with stress are relaxation and deep breathing exercises, engaging in physical activity, or doing something you enjoy.
  6. Motivation: Try and workout with a friend. You can hold each other accountable, as well as push each other through your workouts. It can also make it fun!

If you’re looking for help or motivation, reach out to your corporate wellness staff. Your overall wellness should be a priority, so what’s stopping you from getting back on track to make your heart happy and healthy?!

Topics: corporate wellness active aging heart health month heart healthy